12/15/2012, 00.00
THAILAND
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Bangkok: The Christmas of catechumens, on the road to Baptism

by Weena Kowitwanij
The season of Advent is an opportunity to deepen their faith, while waiting to receive the Sacrament at the Easter Vigil. Following the words of the prophet Baruch, Christians must put aside "anguish and sadness", to celebrate the birth of Jesus. A hundred people Sunday catechism classes.

Bangkok (AsiaNews) - Proclaiming the word of God, to witness to the faith, helping catechumens on the journey that will bring them closer to Baptism, preparing spiritually for the birth of Jesus, putting aside "anguish and sadness" of everyday life. With masses and prayers, Thai Catholics are living the Advent season, in anticipation of the Christmas celebrations. The Archdiocese of Bangkok, meanwhile, has promoted a series of liturgical rites aimed in particular at those who are making the journey of "adult initiation to the Christian faith," according to the guidelines set by the Pastoral Plan for the period 2011-2015.

Sunday, December 9, the second of Advent, the faithful celebrated Bible Sunday, listening to the words of the prophet Baruch that invites us to get rid of "anguish" and "sadness". In this process of moving closer to Christmas, the archdiocese pays special attention to those who are making the journey of the catechumenate, living "the process of preparing adults to be good Christians."

Fr. Akeratna Pathumhom responsible for the pastoral care of Christians, confirms that "there are a hundred people" attending catechism classes on Sundays, throughout the Archdiocese of Bangkok. Most of them, once concluded the journey of the catechumenate, will be baptized at Easter next year. This is a period "which calls to conversion," in which we can seek and obtain "peace and love in Jesus."

The catechist Orapin Chomjinda confirms that at least 15/20 people have asked to take part in lessons and "most of them show a sincere desire to become Catholic." "All hear the word of God - she explains - then share the experience, finally they begin the real study of the Catholic faith." Among the many people there is also a Buddhist girl named Pornthip Piyaratana, who has decided to follow the catechism after a series of personal and professional misadventures. Now every morning, concludes Orapin, before going to work she prays to Jesus Christ and asks for His help for the day.

 

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